Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flat, or Round?

Rev. Joanne spoke in last night’s service at Agape.  She spoke of a time on the planet when everyone alive believed the world to be flat.  Generations lived and died “knowing” this, basing much of how they lived on this “fact”.

Aristotle argued that the earth was round back in his day (384-322BC).  Then, one day, some 2200 +/- years ago, Eratosthenes noticed how sunlight fell straight into a well in one location, while it fell at an angle some distance away in another city at the same time and he was able to conclude that the Earth was round.  He was even able to estimate its circumference.

I wonder, how long did it take for this exciting new discovery to make itself known to all people on the planet?  With communication as it was back then,  I can only imagine there were doubters, naysayers, and even maybe some frightened people still holding on to “flat thinking” for many years after the discovery.  Eventually, however, the word made its way aROUND the planet.

Once this was known, a new world was born.  Old ways of doing things, once limited, began to fall away.  New possibilities for commerce, discovery and travel emerged.  The evolution of the planet moved forward and with it, on absolute truth:

Once you’ve lived on a round planet, you can never return to a flat one.

As I consider all the ways in which life changed once this discovery became known, I wonder what new discoveries are being birthed right now, in my lifetime?  What old ways of living on this planet are slowly being replaced by new, more efficient ways?  As I watch brick and mortar businesses being replaced by virtual ones, banking systems fail, countries default, and democracy & freedom break out all over the planet, I see the evolution of our planet moving forward still, breaking free from our own, old, “flat earth” way of thinking.  Sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating, but all the while, moving forward.

The best part of all of this? Each of us gets to choose: Flat or round?  Do you want to keep forcing the old (flat) way of thinking and being, which is proving to be outdated with every passing day, or the new (round) ways of discovery?  You can co-create a better world or you can fight to save paradigms that have been outgrown. We are all on the edge of our “flat” earth right now.  What do you see as you stand on that edge? An end or a beginning?  Flat, or round?

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